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Our Farms, our future

Podcast about water challenges

Water rarely cooperates when it comes to growing crops – sometimes we have too much of it, while other times there just isn’t enough. For Amy Garrett in western Oregon, summer months often bring almost no rainfall. In Iowa, Ron Rosmann sees growing seasons with heavy downpours that increase water quality risks associated with lost soil and nutrient-saturated runoff.

In this new episode of the Our Farms, Our Future Podcast, Garrett, an assistant professor at Oregon State University, and Rosmann, an Iowa farmer, discuss how water trends and patterns impact agriculture in their regions. “We had a drought in 2015 and a lot of people who were used to irrigating throughout the summer had their water restricted as early as June,” says Garrett. “So for vegetable growers that are used to irrigating through September, that was like, ‘Okay, we have to look at alternatives.’”

Listen now to learn how Garrett and Rosmann deal with water challenges.

Of water challenges in his own region, Rosmann states, “Our annual rainfall is up to about 34 inches now. Growing up it was down around 31 inches, but in the last 50 years that’s increased. The winters are getting significantly warmer and the summers are actually getting cooler.”

In the episode, Garrett and Rosmann talk about these unique challenges and explore some of the solutions they’re excited about, including dry farming strategies. Both Garrett and Rosmann grew up close to the land, which informs the work they do today. Listen to their conversation now to gain insights on water challenges across the country and what agricultural professionals from Oregon to Iowa have in common.

The Our Farms, Our Future Podcast was created to bring people together for important conversations, and to share the knowledge of agricultural professionals with a wider audience. Each episode features two members of the sustainable agriculture community in conversations about success, hardship, fears and hopes, lessons learned and projects to come.

You can follow this series at or by subscribing on iTunes or Stitcher.

Source: SARE

Publication date: 5/16/2018



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